Statistics and Observations of Living to Be 100 Years Old -- Centenarians

Do you want to live to be 100 years old? Very few people make it there. Living to be 100 takes a lot of effort, it generally requires good health and great family genes, and it involves a lot of luck. There are also a lot of things that you might not have ever thought of about the so-called centenarians in America.

The U.S. Census Bureau sent out its revised reports, because May was named as being “Older Americans Month.” 24/7 Wall St. has looked through several sections of the combined studies that pooled data from recent years about those Americans who live to be 100 years old.

Guess how many people are aged 100 and older, counted by the 2010 Census. Only 53,364! While much of this data has been out for some time, it is never a bad idea at the end of the week to look at the lighter side of life. Besides, some of us might think about how much money we need to have saved up just to live to 100.

This only scratches the surface of the statistics of those who live to be 100. Below are some of those interesting factoids about centenarians.

Centenarians might have a hard time all getting married with people their own age. For every 100 centenarian women, there were only 20.7 centenarian men in 2010. Some 82.8% of centenarians were female.

There might not be as many centenarian men as women, but some 43.5% of the men lived with others in a household. This was also said to be the most common living arrangement for this group. For centenarian women, the most common living arrangement was residing in a nursing home — at 35.2%.

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The number of centenarians per 10,000 people rose from 1980 (1.42) to 2000 (1.79), but that fell in 2010 (1.73). The number of centenarians increased from 32,194 to 53,364, resulting in a 65.8% increase, while the total population increased 36.3%. Since 2000, census data showed a modest 5.8% increase in centenarians, while the total population increased 9.7% and those in their 80s and 90s increased at much higher rates (21.1% and 30.0%, respectively).

Race plays a statistical issue in the census report. In 2010, 82.5% of centenarians were white alone, compared with 72.4% white alone in the total population. Some 12.2% were Black or African American alone, compared with 12.6% in the total population. Some 5.8% were Hispanic, versus the percentage of the total population being 16.3%. The Asian alone share of the centenarian population was 2.5%, while its share of the total population was 4.8%.

There is one final thought here, and hopefully the centenarians and their kids or grandkids will not take too much offense. This was NOT from the Census data, and yes it is a bit of humor for the weekend. Did you know that, after much thought, there are really only two kinds of people who deep down inside are the most interested in living to be 100 years old? It has to be true: they are the 99- and 98-year-olds.

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